Gizelle, our studio manager asked "Can you do this month's blog?"
"Certainly, I replied. What would you like me to blog about? "
Gizelle just gave me the look that said……"Really Michael?".
And so it begins….a dance history is so long it'll take several blog entries to cover it.
My parents had converted our detached double garage into an entertainment room with table tennis and a pool table plus a great stereo system and room for my sister to practice her ballet. It was great, after school I'd go out there and play the ole' 45's on the record player and sing along to my favorite artists – the Beatles, Elvis, Tiny Tim (Yes Tiny Tim), The Osmonds, and the Jacksons. I did a great rendition of Donny Osmond's "Long Haired Lover from Liverpool". I was hot, doing all my moves using the garage door as a stage and impressing the neighborhood. Well, not the entire neighborhood, Mr. Malberg next door was never really captivated by my skills. When I'd start singing he'd play his Scottish Bagpipe LP and drown me out. Mum would drag me along to the church hall where my sister attended ballet classes. Two other boys and I would rough house and make a commotion while our sisters were practicing. When we started to actually cause damage, the ballet mistress lost her patience and forced us to join the class where she could keep control. That was the start of my love of dance. I continued ballet and when Mum decided it was time for my sister to learn ballroom, she'd drag me along to that as well, this time to the high school auditorium where the program was run by the Bass Hill RSL Youth Club. Similar to my start in ballet, I was forced to join the class. I had my first Cha Cha Cha and I fell in love with dance all over again.
I continued with ballroom, eventually being invited to join the dance team. I was partnered with Jacqueline Jones and my competitive dance career was born. We started competing against other RSL Youth Clubs. We then moved on to private lessons where we improved our dancing enough to enter competitions sanctioned by the Australian Dancing Board of Control. At this higher level, all competitors were being trained privately. I used to wear a frilly shirt front with my father's cummerbund, which would wrap around me three times, topped off by a huge black velvet bow tie. (See the photo below.)
Jackie and I danced together for four years. She grew taller than me and we changed teachers in order to find new suitable partners. It was five years before I grew to match her height again. By then we were both competing with our new partners but Jackie's and my family had became very close through our shared dancing, and still are to this day. Dancing adventures form friendships and create lots of great memories. I am grateful for that.
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Get out and be part of the fun. Meet new people through the universal language of dance. Dance lessons will get you out on the dance floor with your friends or maybe you'll catch the eye of that special someone.